CACI No. 206. Evidence Admitted for Limited Purpose

Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions (2020 edition)

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206.Evidence Admitted for Limited Purpose
During the trial, certain evidence was admitted for a limited purpose.
You may consider that evidence only for that purpose and for no other.
New September 2003; Revised May 2018, November 2018
Directions for Use
It is recommended that the judge call attention to the purpose to which the evidence
applies.
If appropriate, an instruction limiting the purpose for which evidence is to be
considered must be given upon request. (Evid. Code, § 355; Daggett v. Atchison,
Topeka & Santa Fe Ry. Co. (1957) 48 Cal.2d 655, 665-666 [313 P.2d 557];
Continental Airlines, Inc. v. McDonnell Douglas Corp. (1989) 216 Cal.App.3d 388,
412 [264 Cal.Rptr. 779].)
A limited-purpose instruction is insufficient to cure hearsay problems with case-
specific testimony given by an expert witness. (People v. Sanchez (2016) 63 Cal.4th
665, 684 [204 Cal.Rptr.3d 102, 374 P.3d 320].)
For an instruction on evidence applicable to one party or a limited number of
parties, see CACI No. 207, Evidence Applicable to One Party.
Sources and Authority
• Evidence Admitted for Limited Purpose. Evidence Code section 355.
• Refusal to give a requested instruction limiting the purpose for which evidence
is to be considered may constitute error. (Adkins v. Brett (1920) 184 Cal. 252,
261-262 [193 P. 251].)
• “The effect of the statute - here, the municipal code section - is to make certain
hearsay evidence admissible for a limited purpose, i.e., supplementing or
explaining other evidence. This triggers the long-standing rule codified in
Evidence Code section 355, which states, ‘When evidence is admissible . . . for
one purpose and is inadmissible . . . for another purpose, the court upon request
shall restrict the evidence to its proper scope and instruct the jury accordingly.’
. . . In the absence of such a request, the evidence is ‘ “usable for any purpose.”
’”(Seibert v. City of San Jose (2016) 247 Cal.App.4th 1027, 1060-1061 [202
Cal.Rptr.3d 890], original italics.)
• “Where the information is admitted for a purpose other than showing the truth of
the matter asserted . . . , prejudice is likely to be minimal and a limiting
instruction under section 355 may be requested to control the jury’s use of the
information.” (Korsak v. Atlas Hotels, Inc. (1992) 2 Cal.App.4th 1516, 1525 [3
Cal.Rptr.2d 833].)
• An adverse party may be excused from the requirement of requesting a limiting
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instruction and may be permitted to assert error if the trial court unequivocally
rejects the argument upon which a limiting instruction would be based. (Warner
Construction Corp. v. City of Los Angeles (1970) 2 Cal.3d 285, 298-299 [85
Cal.Rptr. 444, 466 P.2d 996].)
Secondary Sources
1 Witkin, California Evidence (5th ed. 2012) Circumstantial Evidence, §§ 32-36
Jefferson, California Evidence Benchbook (3d ed. 1997) §§ 20.11-20.13
1A California Trial Guide, Unit 21, Procedures for Determining Admissibility of
Evidence, § 21.21 (Matthew Bender)
48 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 551, Trial, §§ 551.66[2], 551.77
(Matthew Bender)
California Judges Benchbook: Civil Proceedings - Trial §§ 3.106, 12.26 (Cal CJER
2019)
EVIDENCE CACI No. 206
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